Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Day 0 - Surgery Day

I woke up at 4:30am this morning, took my shower, and then packed everything up.  I was ready to leave a little after 5am in order to be at the surgery center at 5:30am.  My wife, who on a normal work day can wake up and leave in under 20 minutes, was having a hard time getting out of bed and into motion.  Let's just say that we go to Greenbaum before 6am.  Seriously, it doesn't take 2 hours to prep for surgery, but I'm sure they want us there early to go over all of it and not have to rush with everyone.

This was my third time at Greenbaum.  I checked in, paid the copay, filled out the paperwork, and then headed back.  We did the normal vital check, and then I took off my clothes and put on the hospital gown.

The nurse prepping me, though, asked, "I just want to be sure...you don't have a uterus, right?"

I smiled.

"No, I don't have a uterus."

After that, I was on the gurney where she inserted the IV port and completed the prep.  Numerous people came by including the transport nurse, a surgical nurse, and, of course, my anesthesiologist.

I just realized that everyone that has performed surgery on me has always been older than me.  At 45, I'm not a spring pup anymore, but it's interesting that my surgeons have all been older then me.  Realizing that I was well past 40 now, and the recovery time from surgery takes a lot longer than my 30's, I had actually spent the past year trying to get in really good shape.  I usually don't get out of shape, but I had a bout of plantar fasciitis hit me about a year and a half ago that stopped my running for several months.  Once I was able to run again, I pushed myself for more miles each month.  Hopefully getting my metabolism in good shape should help with recovery and the ability to ambulate.

My wife came into the OR prep area after a while.  She had already coordinated the delivery of my suitcase upstairs to the recovery floor.  I wanted to do it before surgery because I didn't want her lifting the big bag down from the vehicle while she is pregnant.

Dr. Meltzer stopped by one last time before surgery.  He had ridden in on his bicycle.  Soon, they were ready to take me into the OR.  I said good-bye to my wife and the anesthesiologist hit me with some calming juice.  I actually never felt anything as we drove through the lower hallways of Greenbaum.  Once in the OR, they had me hop over to the surgery table, and the anesthesiologist hit me with something stronger because I don't remember anything until waking up in the recovery area.

Waking up in the recovery area is a very unique experience.  I realized where I was almost immediately, but since I wear strong glasses, I couldn't make out anything in particular.  I tried keeping my eyes open and staying awake, but gravity and sleepiness kept pulling me back down.  Eventually, I was alert and awake enough that they moved me upstairs.  I want to say I made it up here by 2pm.  I had probably been in the recovery area for 2 hours, so it looks like Dr. Meltzer only took about 4 hours, quite a bit less than the 6 hours he said he would usually book.

My wife caught up with me in my room where she was able to put my glasses on me.  Surprisingly, I had stall 14 in the pre-op area and room 14 upstairs. 

The nice thing is that I was hooked up to a PCA pump which delivered a small amount of pain meds on a continual basis, and more pain meds when I pressed the button.  Delicious!  I'm not in that much pain with the low level dose, but when I press the button, it usually knocks me out.

I was actually alert enough to eat dinner tonight, but now I realize that I shouldn't have told them that I was lactose intolerant.  They have shut me down from ordering anything with dairy in it.  The thing is, I have my Lactaid pills with me which enable me to eat dairy without any consequences, but I guess they don't want to risk it.

Anyway, I am shutting down and pressing the button for some delicious sleep.

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